Royal Caribbean Cancels Stops In Puerto Rico Due To Political Protests

Protesters Demand The Resignation Of Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello

Two Royal Caribbean cruise ships are skipping scheduled stops in Puerto Rico after thousands of protesters took to the streets of San Juan to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Empress of the Seas was supposed to dock in San Juan on Tuesday (July 16) but turned around after reports of clashes between the protesters and the police. The ship was rerouted to the British Virgin Islands, and Royal Caribbean told passengers they'd be refunded for any excursions they had planned while docked in Puerto Rico.

"You may have been looking out your window or surveying your surroundings on the pool deck and noticed we were almost in San Juan this afternoon and then turned around," the cruise line told the 1,800 passengers. "There was a protest involving a large crowd that escalated, and as you may have heard from our Captain, we decided to cancel our visit."

The Harmony of the Seas was supposed to dock in Puerto Rico on Wednesday (July 17), but officials decided to take the ship to St. Maarten instead.

Carnival and Celebrity Cruises say they are monitoring the protests but do not have plans to find a new port of call for their ships, which are scheduled to dock in Puerto Rico on Sunday (July 21).

"We are monitoring the situation and will let our guests know if there are any changes. So far, all visits to San Juan remain as scheduled," a spokesperson for Carnival Cruises said in a statement.

The protests began over the weekend after nearly 900 pages of private chats between Rosselló and top officials were released. The profanity-laced conversations were filled with misogynistic and homophobic comments. Despite the protests, Rosselló has refused to step down.

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